In the process of product design and production, due to various reasons, there are design changes, process changes, process adjustments, unplanned line stops, production changes, line changes, etc. In order to avoid large quantities of defective products caused by the above reasons, the first article inspection is required. What is first article inspection? And the significance of first article inspection and inspection procedure steps.
The first article inspection is to avoid large quantities of defective products due to process and operation reasons.
1. Meaning of FAI
– Reasons for first article inspection: During the production process, any one or more production factors in 5M1E (man, machine, material, method, environment and measurement) have changed, such as personnel change, equipment adjustment and maintenance, material change and fixture change, design change, line stop, etc.
– Definition of first article: The first or first several products processed by the production line at the beginning of each shift / production line or after the process changes. For mass production, “first article” often refers to a certain number of samples.
– Definition of first article inspection: It refers to the inspection of the first or first several products processed by the production line at the beginning of each shift or after the process changes. The inspection quantity can be determined according to the requirements of different enterprises or customers. Generally speaking, at least 3-5 continuously produced products need to be inspected, and subsequent products can be processed only after they are qualified. In case of any change in equipment or manufacturing process, and before each working shift starts processing, the first article inspection shall be strictly carried out.
2. Purpose of First Article Inspection
– The first article inspection is to avoid large quantities of defective products due to process and operation reasons.
– The first article inspection in the production process is mainly to prevent products from batch out of tolerance, repair and scrapping. It is a means to control the production process in advance, an important method for product process quality control, and an effective and indispensable method for enterprises to ensure product quality and improve economic benefits.
– The purpose of first article inspection is to find out the factors affecting product quality in the production process as soon as possible and prevent batch defects or scrapping.
– The formal production can be started only after the first article passes the inspection, mainly to prevent the occurrence of batch nonconforming products.
Long term practical experience has proved that the first inspection system is an effective measure to find problems as soon as possible and prevent products from being scrapped in batches. Through the first article inspection, it can be found that there are systematic reasons such as serious wear of fixtures or installation and positioning errors, poor accuracy of measuring instruments, reading wrong drawings, feeding or formula errors, so as to take corrective or improvement measures to prevent the occurrence of batch nonconforming products.
3. Place and Time of First Article Inspection
1) Start of each shift.
2) Change operator.
3) Replace or adjust equipment and process equipment.
4) Change technical conditions, process methods and process parameters.
5) After adopting new materials or substituting materials.
6) Replace or retest the bath solution.
4. Requirements for First Article Inspection
The first article inspection adopts the three inspection system: self inspection, mutual inspection and special inspection:
The products submitted for inspection must be “self inspected” by the operator first, then “mutual inspected” by the team leader or colleagues, and finally “specially inspected” by the inspector. The subsequent products can be processed only after they are determined to be qualified.
Whether the first article is qualified after the first article inspection shall be finally approved by the full-time inspector. The inspector shall mark the first article that is qualified after the inspection and keep it until the processing of the shift or a batch of products is completed.
If the first article fails to pass the inspection, it is necessary to find out the cause, take measures, and re process and conduct three inspections after troubleshooting. The first article can be determined only after passing the inspection.
5. Main Items of First Article Inspection
– Whether the drawing number is consistent with the work order.
– Whether the material, blank or semi-finished product is consistent with the work order.
– Whether the surface treatment and installation positioning of materials and blanks are consistent.
– Whether the ingredients meet the specified requirements.
– Whether the actual quality characteristics of the first product after processing meet the requirements specified in the drawings or technical documents.
6. First Article Inspection Specification Process
Subject content and scope of application:
– This document specifies the requirements and working procedures for the first article inspection and batch first article inspection of new products in the production process of the company.
– This regulation is applicable to the company’s control over the first article inspection and batch first article inspection of new products in the production process.
– The production department is responsible for organizing and arranging the first article inspection.
– The person directly responsible shall be responsible for the quality accidents caused by the unauthorized production of products without the first article inspection of new products, the first article inspection of batches or the first article inspection is unqualified.
– The inspector and the person in charge of the production line shall be responsible for the correctness of the first article inspection.
– The inspector begins to issue quality certificates when the first article confirmation is not completed. The inspector shall be responsible for the quality accidents caused.
Control requirements of first article inspection:
– The first completed semi-finished products and finished products produced continuously by the production department for the first time must be inspected and confirmed by the first article.
– For routine production products, first article inspection shall be carried out by batch.
– In case of shutdown due to equipment, process and other reasons, the first article inspection and confirmation shall be carried out when the machine is shut down and restarted.
– First article inspection and confirmation shall be carried out when the product is put into production after material and specification changes.
– During the first article inspection of new products, the production unit shall be responsible for notifying the relevant inspection personnel to carry out the inspection according to the current effective drawings, lists and process documents. The inspector shall fill in the inspection records, sign on the first article card after passing the inspection, and hang the card on the first article to make the first article mark. If the first article fails to pass the inspection, it shall be returned immediately. The first article shall be remade and recorded. Products that have not passed the first article inspection shall not be accepted.
– The first piece, as a sample for batch production, shall be retained by the production department until the completion of full batch production.
– During the first article inspection, all raw and auxiliary materials used in the production process of the product shall be checked, which must be consistent with the regulations.
– During the production of the first piece, the person in charge of the production line and the inspectors shall go to the production site to supervise and inspect the actual producer to complete the first piece according to the production process flow and the current effective production process documents, supervise and inspect each production process, and correct and solve the problems found in time.
– All production processes must be completed for the first piece production of the conventional production products and the products that are shut down and then started up for production. After the manufacturer passes the inspection and signs on the first piece plate, it can be handed over to the inspectors for the first piece inspection. During the first article inspection, the inspector shall conduct the inspection together with the person in charge of the production line according to the current effective drawings, lists, process documents and product requirements. After passing the inspection, the first article shall be marked and countersigned by the manufacturer and the inspector on the first article card. The first article inspection required due to major product changes can be signed and approved by relevant personnel and inspectors. If the first article fails to pass the inspection, it shall be returned immediately and the first article shall be remade.
– First article inspection and confirmation are required for semi-finished products and finished products generated after the first batch production of new products and changes in materials and specifications.
– During the first article inspection, the first article record shall be made in time and the first article confirmation shall be filled in.
– In case of any quality problem found during the production of the first article, it shall be reported and handled in time, and the non-conforming items shall be reconfirmed. Production can be organized only after the first piece passing the inspection is recorded on the first piece card and the quality is approved by the inspector.
– Only after the first article is confirmed, the inspector can start the normal delivery inspection.